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Mental health and feminist artivist, Sravya Attaluri: My Best Life in 10 answers

Sravya Attaluri creates art and illustrations as a form of mental health and feminist activism and is the founder of online art shop Hello Colour.

She uses art as advocacy to help break mental health stigmas, fight for feminism and rights issues, and champion body confidence, diversity and inclusion. She proactively draws brown skin having grown up not seeing people who look like her in art, museums and books, so now wants to uplift women like her, and ensure women of colour are better represented.

She has created artwork for Instagram, UN-backed and human rights organisations, mental health charities, movements to end public sexual harassment in the UK and more.

She says: “My university graduation is a day I’ll remember forever especially because I still managed to persevere and train in fine arts despite never seeing representation in the art and design industry of brown-skinned women like me, having to take a year off due to focus on my mental health and recovery from clinical depression. This day reminds me that I pulled myself out of deep depression and worked hard to find my passion and make it come true and I use these memories as a reminder to continue to chase what I want and use my art to voice myself.”

Sravya Attaluri

1. What has been your Best Life Project to date?

Definitely the “How To Keep Your Heart Happy” campaign with Instagram to promote online safety and empower young girls and women to use the features on Instagram to protect themselves against online harassment. It’s an honour and a dream to be able to work with Instagram and be able to reach a larger audience with the intention of empowering young girls.

2. The unknown … what challenges did you have to overcome?

I had to overcome a lot of self-doubt after years of believing that I wasn’t enough and wasn’t talented. I often sought approval and validity from the people around me who did not see value in chosen my career path. I had to learn that I need to focus on myself and my passion to be able to take risks and chase after my dream.

3. In hindsight…..what would you do differently?

I would have started sharing my art earlier, been braver, and not have wasted time trying to fit into other people’s expectations of me.

4. Next steps?

I am working on the launch of my online store, Hello Colour, where I’ll be launching products that are focused on promoting mental wellbeing and supporting individuals through their self-love journey. I can’t wait for the launch!

5. From lockdown ……what lifestyle changes has lockdown made you consider?

I moved out to the countryside, I want to slow down and focus more on self-care and internal happiness rather than running around and spending time with everyone else but myself.

6. Kissing frogs …. is there an unexpected person who has helped you and, if so, how did they do it?

There are SO many people who have helped me get to where I am today! But one person who is really unexpected is one of my old bosses who encouraged me to actually quit working for her (even though she didn’t want me to quit) because she told me to take a chance on myself and chase my dreams! She shared tips on financial preparation before quitting my job and gave me emotional support through my transition!

7. My Inspiration ….who or what inspires you?

My family and friends and the meaningful, genuine and honest conversations we have about mental health, spirituality and passions. These conversations become the base for my artwork and inspire me to dive deeper into my interests.

8. How do you relax or do you struggle to relax?

I definitely struggle to relax but I am learning to completely take my weekends off by getting out of the house and planning exciting new adventures from cooking classes to rock climbing. I need to get away from my desk so that my brain can catch a break from work!

9. Guilty secret pleasure?

Binge-watching Love Island!!

10. Words of wisdom

Find a passion to live for, not a person! And find your passion by constantly trying new things and finding what you don’t like! Finding what you don’t like will allow you to narrow down what you do like. As long as you are moving in the right direction, you are chasing your passion.

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